The warm sun on your face. Sand between your toes and the light lap of the ocean tides in the distance...
Here's how to turn your vacation into a business trip:
1. Make all of your business appointments before you leave
It is not enough to book a vacation to Maui and hand out a few business cards while you're there. In order to establish the "prior set business purpose" required by the IRS, you must have at least one business appointment booked before you leave.
2. Ensure your trip is "all business travel"
The IRS states that travel expenses are 100% deductible as long as:
- Your trip is business related
- You are traveling away from your regular place of business longer than an ordinary day's work
- You need to sleep or rest to meet the demands of your work while away from home
3. Deduct all "on-the-road" expenses
For each day on your business trip, you can deduct 100% of lodging, tips and car rentals. Food can be deducted at 50%. If you plan on spending over $75 per expense, you will need to keep your receipt. Any expense under $75 does not require a receipt, except for lodging.
Other deductible expenses you may not think of include: all laundry, shoe shines, manicures and dry-cleaning costs for clothes worn on the trip. The first dry cleaning bill after the trip counts as a deductible business trip expense. Just be sure to keep your receipt and have the clothes dry cleaned within a day or two of getting home.
4. Take advantage of the weekend
If one business day is on a Friday and another is on a Monday, all on-the-road expenses during the weekend in-between are deductible. The IRS allows deduction of transportation costs if business is the primary purpose of the trip. This means the majority of the days must be for business activities (otherwise no transportation deductions are allowed).
As long as you keep the right mix of work and play, your day on the beach can be had courtesy of the IRS.